The Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) provided its weekly Friday update on the most recent statistics related to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Delaware, as of 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 12.

In all, 963 new cases were announced this week for a total of 23,687 positive cases of COVID-19 among Delaware residents, reported to DPH since March 11. This includes the 12,493 individuals who are considered recovered.

The number of new daily cases each day this week has increased to a seven-day average of 137.3, as of Thursday.

In addition, 106 individuals are currently hospitalized (25 of whom are critically ill).

A total of 678 Delawareans have passed away due to complications from COVID-19, which includes 16 more deaths this week. Total ages range in age from 21 to 104 years old. Of those who have died, 354 were female and 324 were male. A total of 339 individuals were from New Castle County, 120 were from Kent County, and 219 were from Sussex County.

To protect personal health information, DPH will not confirm specific information about any individual case, even if other persons or entities disclose it independently.

The seven-day average for the percentage of persons who tested positive for COVID-19 increased from 5.5 percent to 6.9 percent as of Thursday. DPH recently began publishing both positivity rates – persons tested and total tests conducted – on its online COVID-19 data portal. As of Wednesday, Oct. 20, The seven-day average for the percentage of total tests that were positive was 3.1%, up from 2.6% as of Oct. 13. There is a two-day lag for presenting data related to percent of tests that are positive to account for the time delay between the date of the test and the date that DPH receives the test result.

Statistics are posted online at the My Healthy Community COVID-19 data portal (https://myhealthycommunity.dhss.delaware.gov/locations/state).

Sussex County COVID permanent testing sites, Sept. 14

Starting on Monday, Sept. 14, 2020, the State of Delaware will transition to more permanent COVID-19 testing sites. Sussex County is starting with six locations, including West Fenwick, Rehoboth Beach and Georgetown and more. Testing will be offered in all counties, free of charge with results expected in 48-72 hours.

Information about testing events, including community testing sites and free-standing sites operated by the health care systems and hospitals, will be listed on the testing section of the Delaware coronavirus websites:

CDC reports on Delaware COVID mitigation strategies during primary election

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report in today’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) examining the use of strategies to prevent the spread of COVID-19 during Delaware’s statewide primary election (www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm6943e2.htm?s_cid=mm6943e2_w).

CDC collaborated with the Delaware DPH and Delaware State Election Commission on a survey of poll workers during the statewide primary election on Sept. 15, 2020. This study evaluates the adoption of mitigation strategies by election officials, poll workers and voters at polling locations as recommended in CDC’s Interim Guidance ("Considerations for Election Polling Locations"). The study supports the feasibility of implementing current guidance and highlights gaps in implementation relevant to future elections, including the upcoming November general election.

The survey found widespread adoption of most COVID-19 mitigation measures recommended for poll workers and voters, including wearing masks, frequent use of hand sanitizer, frequent sanitizing of high-touch surfaces/equipment and staying at least six feet apart. Voters and election workers are encouraged to wear face masks that cover their noses and mouths, wash their hands frequently or use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, stay at least six feet apart from others, and wipe down frequently touched surfaces to prevent the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19.

School-related statistics for K-12

The Division of Public Health is providing statewide aggregate data on the total number of COVID-19 positive cases among students and staff who were in-person at a school or childcare facility while potentially infectious, reported to DPH since Sept. 1, 2020. To determine the start of the infectious period, or when others may have been exposed to someone infectious, DPH looks 48 hours prior to the onset of symptoms or 48 hours prior to testing for those individuals who had no symptoms. These data only indicate potential exposure to COVID-19 in these settings, not whether exposure actually occurred.

Cumulative number of COVID-19 positive students and staff, statewide, who were in-person at a school or childcare facility while potentially infectious, reported to DPH between Sept. 1 and Oct 23:

  • Childcare: 27 students and 25 staff
  • Private K-12: 54 students and 26 staff
  • Public K-12: 24 students and 75 staff

Delaware COVID-19 data:

The latest Delaware COVID-19 case statistics cumulatively since March 11, provided as of 6 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 1, include:

  • 23,687 total positive cases
  • New Castle County cases: 12,491
  • Kent County cases: 3,394
  • Sussex County cases: 7,711
  • Unknown County: 91
  • Females: 12,787; Males: 10,861; Unknown Sex: 39
  • Age range: 0 to 104
  • Currently hospitalized: 106, including 25 critically ill (This data represents individuals currently hospitalized in a Delaware hospital regardless of residence, and is not cumulative.)
  • Delawareans recovered: 12,493
  • 311,425 negative tests (preliminary data, based on negative results reported to DPH by state and commercial laboratories performing analysis).

(Data are provisional and subject to change.)

Additional demographic data on COVID-19 cases and deaths, including race/ethnicity, more age-specific data and rates information by ZIP code, and information on Delaware's contact tracing efforts can be found on the Division of Public Health's My Healthy Community data portal at de.gov/healthycommunity.

Generally, Delaware is now considering patients recovered after at least 24 hours have passed since the resolution of fever (without the use of fever-reducing medications) and/or improvement in symptoms, and at least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared. Individuals who tested positive who have not had any symptoms are considered recovered after at least 10 days have passed since the date of their first positive COVID-19 test with no subsequent illness.

Long-term care statistics

Information related to positive cases and deaths among residents at long-term care facilities will be updated weekly each Friday, using information reported as of 6 p.m. Thursday evening. There has been a total of 1,387 positive COVID-19 cases cumulatively involving long-term care residents, and 388 residents of Delaware long-term care facilities have died from complications related to COVID-19.

Sussex County deaths involving residents of long-term care facilities include:

  • Atlantic Shores Rehabilitation and Health Center, Millsboro (17)
  • Brandywine Living at Seaside Pointe, Rehoboth Beach (2)
  • Cadia Healthcare Renaissance, Millsboro (9)
  • Country Rest Home, Greenwood (6)
  • Harbor Healthcare and Rehabilitation, Lewes (21)
  • Harrison House Senior Living, Georgetown (41)
  • Milford Center, Genesis Healthcare, Milford (36)
  • Two other Sussex County long-term care facilities (1 death at each facility)

COVID-19 outbreaks in long-term care facilities

The DPH is currently investigating COVID-19 outbreaks in several long-term care facilities. Locations where significant ongoing outbreaks are occurring include, as of Oct. 22:

  • Country Rest Home in Greenwood: 31 residents and 18 staff members
  • Kentmere Rehabilitation and Health Care Center in Wilmington: 54 residents and 42 staff members
  • Cadia Healthcare Silverside in Wilmington: 44 residents and 32 staff members
  • Newly added: Regency Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center in Wilmington: 38 residents and 15 staff

(Staff members may include health care and non-health care personnel, such as facility vendors or other individuals working in the long-term care facility who may not be full-time facility employees.)

Questions of all kinds

Anyone who is sick with any of the following symptoms should stay home: fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat, muscle aches, fatigue, chills, shaking with chills, loss of smell or taste, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, congestion or runny nose without a known cause (such as allergies). Other symptoms such as abdominal pain or lack of appetite have been identified as potential symptoms related to COVID-19 and may prompt further screening, action or investigation by a primary care provider. Anyone who is sick should avoid going into public spaces and should ask someone else to pick up essential supplies from the grocery store or the pharmacy.

Anyone who thinks they have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, or have symptoms of illness, is being advised to make sure to distance themselves from others, particularly vulnerable populations. Older adults and people of any age with serious underlying medical conditions — including serious heart conditions, chronic lung conditions, including moderate to severe asthma, severe obesity and those who are immunocompromised, including through cancer treatment — might be at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19.

People with complaints about individuals violating public gathering restrictions should contact state or local law enforcement. Concerns that a business may be violating operating restrictions should be directed to: HSPContact@delaware.gov. Questions related to business re-openings or operations as businesses reopen should go to COVID19FAQ@delaware.gov.

Anyone with a question about COVID-19, whether related to medical or social service needs, should call Delaware 211, or email info@delaware211.org. Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing can text their ZIP code to 898-211. Hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Medically related questions regarding testing, symptoms, and health-related guidance can be submitted by email at DPHCall@delaware.gov. Questions related to business re-openings or operations as businesses reopen should go to COVID19FAQ@delaware.gov. Questions regarding unemployment claims should be emailed to: UIClaims@delaware.gov.

Any Delaware healthcare, long-term care, residential or other high-risk facility with questions or concerns can email DPH_PAC@delaware.gov or call the DPH Call Center at 1-866-408-1899 (ext. 2).

For all information on Delaware’s response, visit de.gov/coronavirus.

Content can be submitted to the Coastal Point via email to editorial@coastalpoint.com. By submitting any content, you are agreeing to the Submissions policies detailed under the Terms of Use link at the bottom of this site.